Meet our employees
Tuyen Pham, Examiner, IT Risk Specialist, Dallas
"One of the reasons I have stayed at FCA for so long is because my personal life has changed with marriage, family, and young kids, and FCA has been very accommodating and family-friendly."
"I learned about FCA through a career recruitment fair when I was a student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where I graduated with a banking and finance major in May 1987. I started in the Omaha office right after graduation and worked there for three years.
"After the reorganization and restructuring of the Office of Examination, I transferred to the Dallas office in July 1990. I have been at the Dallas field office ever since.
"When I joined FCA, I didn't have any banking background, but I did have some agricultural experience from my childhood in South Vietnam, where I lived in a small village. My family raised chickens that were both caged and free-range. It was organic before it was considered hip! As far as modern farming, I learned all of that on the job. Looking at our staff, I think we have a good mix of people who do and do not have farming backgrounds.
"When I started in the commissioning program, it wasn't as structured as it is now. Today, the program is a lot more mature. I went through the program and became a commissioned examiner in March 1995. Subsequently, I went through an Information Technology (IT) specialty program when it became a new career path at FCA.
"I got my CISA (Certified Information System Auditor) certification in July 2003, which is an international certification. I also attended a three-year banking program at Louisiana State University from 2010 to 2012. The student body is mostly bankers, but also includes regulators and other examiners. Through FCA's IT program, I also became a Certified Business Resilience Auditor in 2014.
"During my career, I've attended a variety of training classes on coaching, managing, conducting advanced examinations, and auditing. The commissioning program has gone through several changes, and I've participated in testing the program and being an assessor. In the week-long commissioning exam, new examiners have to go through a simulation process. I play an association loan officer and board member. We test the candidates on their ability to analyze loans, their written and oral communication skills, and their technical knowledge. I continue to be a part of that program.
"Along with that, I've also been a coach and mentor to help employees assess their technical skills. I also help them identify opportunities. I didn't have the benefit of having a mentor early in my career, and it's definitely a reflection of the maturity of the employee development program.
"I do safety and soundness examinations, as well as IT examinations. For example, I'm the examiner-in-charge of an institution so I'm responsible for conducting examinations, monitoring, and preparing reports. I also have the role of an IT examiner, where I am the examiner-in-charge of a large bank and I'm responsible for monitoring its technology, as well as its IT security environment, and governance. Because the bank provides IT services to the whole district, I need to be cognizant of the relationship to the associations. Getting to do both credit and IT examinations keeps my job interesting.
"My workday varies depending on the issues I am addressing. If I'm working on monitoring my regular institution, I will look at business plans and do quarterly oversight. I will do the same tasks as an IT examiner. I am in regular communication with management since I need to review information and provide my assessment. I might need to coordinate with other departments, such as risk supervision when dealing with an institution under an enforcement action or the legal department when dealing with borrower complaints. You never know when you walk in the door if unexpected issues will come up and turn your day completely upside down. It keeps it interesting. In my role as coach and mentor, I need to be available to make sure my mentee has his or her questions answered.
"When I'm on the road, I am responsible for overseeing the whole exam process, assigning tasks, coordinating meetings, reviewing assignments, talking to the loan officer, and meeting with management.
Lots of opportunities to hone skills
" I have learned a lot as an examiner, but most importantly I have learned to work well with others. Even though I consider myself a people person, I have learned to deal with different personalities at FCA. We are constantly working in a team so you interact with people who have different skills, experience levels, backgrounds, and work disciplines. You also work with different departments, so you work with attorneys, enforcement staff, trainees, and senior-level administrators. Externally, we work with people who are on the management level and on the board of directors. In the IT field, you must have highly technical knowledge.
"One of the current challenges I face is the fast pace of change. Looking back at my career as an examiner, I used to visit small branches with one branch manager and few loan officers. Organization structure and credit lending have become more complex and sophisticated. The risks involved are more challenging. In the IT field, the changes occur so fast it makes my head spin. It has forced me to continuously hone my technical skills and knowledge base.
Benefits of working at FCA
"Because FCA is a small federal agency, I feel I am treated as an individual—both professionally and personally. I have had some exceptional senior examiner supervisors who were very interested in my professional development, training needs, and career goals. My supervisor challenges me to step out of my comfort zone and is constantly looking out for opportunities for me.
"One of the reasons I have stayed at FCA for so long is because my personal life has changed with marriage, family, and young kids, and FCA has been very accommodating and family-friendly. If I needed to take time to go to the doctor or needed to travel less, my supervisors have respected my personal needs and I am very grateful for that.
"As a federal employee, we have excellent retirement benefits, as well as staff members who are interested in helping us figure out the best retirement options. This agency is interested in developing both my professional career and meeting my post-employment needs, which is definitely a plus."